As New York truck accident attorneys, we are very concerned about a recent decision by the Department Of Transportation to shut down truck stops across the state.
The DOT announced earlier this year that about six truck stops across the state would be closed down because of budgetary concerns. The six stops were chosen based on their condition, age, and proximity to other truck stop areas nearby. Two of the truck stops are located in Essex County, while one each is being closed down in Ostego, County, Oswego and Albany counties. According to the DOT, the budget will save at least $500,000 this year, and up to $1 million next year through the closure of truck stops. For now, there are no plans to reopen the truckstops later.
New York truck accident attorneys, lawmakers, and traffic safety advocates have been vocal in their opposition to these truck stop closures. Truckers have staged protests against the government’s decision to close down six highway rest stops. Lawmakers have also spoken out against these closures.
Truck stops are safe to rest areas where truckers can get a bite to eat and rest for a while before they continue driving. These rest areas are very essential because they allow the driver to maintain his hours of service driving limits. When we close down truck stops, a trucker has no place to park his truck and sleep. In a situation like this, he can either continue driving while drowsy, which is a serious risk to other motorists, or he can stop the truck by the side of the highway, which also increases accident risks. Parking a truck in an abandoned area also endangers the safety of the trucker.
The Department of Transportation could have found other ways to save those dollars. Closing down truck stops could have long-term trucking safety consequences.